Author’s Note: Pro-lifers often get attacked for “using” their kids at protests. Although I’m about to criticize a video with a mom and her toddler, I want to show why the logic she is teaching her daughter is wrong, not that she is “using” her daughter. Alright, preface out of the way…
Last month, on the same day as President Cecile Richard’s congressional hearing, Planned Parenthood had a fashion protest called #PinkOut (coincidentally, Richards couldn’t bring herself to wear pink to Congress).
In support of this, abortion rights activist Staceyann Chin posted a video with her adorable three-year old Zuri. In it, she helps Zuri say that she is wearing pink to stand with Planned Parenthood. Chin heavily coaches her through it (again not saying that is a problem – dealing with the logic here) telling her that Planned Parenthood believes that women’s bodies are their own, that Planned Parenthood cares for women’s health first and foremost. At one point, Zuri says that you can be whatever you want to be, “a daddy, a mommy, a baby.”
And there’s the rub. Planned Parenthood doesn’t believe you can be whatever you want to be. Three short years ago, this beautiful little girl was an unborn fetus (as abortion rights advocates demand they be referred to) in her mother’s womb. Planned Parenthood did not recognize her “bodily autonomy” that Chin says is the foundational premise of their movement.
I get into this argument on Twitter with abortion rights activists all the time. “My body, my choice” is the short version and it is vital that pro-lifers understand how to respond to it. Scott Klusendorf of Life Training Institute (article here) and Josh Brahm of Equal Rights Institute (article here) both have great papers on it.
The bodily rights argument is disturbing because, unlike other abortion rights arguments, they concede that an abortion kills an alive, growing human being. However, they say that a woman has absolute authority over her body and can do what she wishes with it, including removing an offending “fetus” by way of destroying it. They compare an unborn baby to a stranger a woman would be forced to keep alive via life support. (I’ve also had quite a few activists say it is like forced organ donation.)
Klusendorf breaks the comparison apart quickly so I’ve summed it for you:
- Women don’t have obligations to strangers but we do have obligations to our children. Society accepts this de facto for born children but currently the law does not apply this obligation to those same children before birth.
- The child is not an intruder or stranger inflicting himself/herself on the woman. Every human must start life inside their mother. Also, for 99.5% of abortions, the mother conceived through her own choice. The mother consented to have the child inside her when she took the risk of having sex. (It isn’t a popular statement to make on Twitter but the truth is we all learned in grade school that sex can equal babies.)
- A mother cannot simply remove support from an unborn child. She has to have the baby crushed or poisoned or dismembered in order to end her support. Instead of a passive act, like choosing not to give a kidney to a stranger, it is a violent, aggressive act that takes away the life of that “stranger.”
Staceyann is doing a tremendous disservice to her daughter by leading her to believe that people are out there like boogeymen trying to control her body. We aren’t trying to control Staceyann’s body or Zuri’s body or anyone else’s. We are trying to stop them from controlling, from destroying someone else’s body.
Zuri’s body when it was inside your body was not your body, Staceyann.
As for the other claims Chin made about doctors and healthcare at PP, any doctor that kills half of his or her patients in any other facility would be sent to prison. Abortion is not healthcare. What is healthcare is provided inside over 13,500 federally-funded clinics around the country. (The $500 million PP currently receives would have been reallocated to those clinics had the bill to defund PP passed.)
Inside those 13,500+ clinics, there are plenty of amazing doctors providing real care to women, all women, not just those who have already been born.